As Christmas draws near, most families will be decorating for the holidays.
Trees, lights, wreaths, and other holiday décor will be abundant
in the Marietta community throughout the next few weeks. In addition,
many holiday meals will be prepared this holiday season. For many, Christmas
is one of the most exciting times of year!
While decorations and holiday meals make the winter holiday season exciting
and festive, they can each be dangerous as well. With the exception of
Thanksgiving, more fires are reported on Christmas Day than any other
day of the year. The number one cause of fires during the holidays is
cooking, with heating, Christmas trees, and décor following close
behind. On average, fire departments respond to 230 home fires each year
that started with Christmas trees. 6 deaths and 22 injuries were reported
from 2007-2011 Christmas tree fires, as well as $18.3 million in direct
property damage. These numbers as staggering and cause us to take a closer
look at holiday safety tips.
As you are decorating or cooking a holiday meal this Christmas, keep these
Christmas safety tips in mind:
Ensure your smoke and
carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Smoke alarms should be located on each level of
your home, as well as outside all bedrooms.
- Practice your home fire escape plan with your entire family. This should
include 2 methods of exit and a common meeting place outside your home
in the event of a house fire.
- Never leave your cooking unattended, as this is the most common cause of
kitchen fires. Always remain close to cooking food so that if a fire does
start, you will be able to smother the flames and turn the heat off.
When selecting a Christmas tree, make sure that it is as fresh as possible. When
selecting a location in your home for the tree, make sure it is away from
fireplaces, heaters, and candles. Once the Christmas tree is placed in
your home, it should be watered daily to prevent the needles from becoming
too dry. Dry trees catch fire and ignite much quicker and aggressively
than well-maintained and moist trees, as illustrated in this
video from the U.S. Fire Administration.
- Indoor lights should be approved by a testing agency. LED lights use less
electricity and are cooler than others, so you may want to consider switching to these.
- Outdoor decorations: use only lights that are meant to be used outdoors
and avoid using nails, staples, or tacks through the wiring of the lights
to hand them.
- When hanging decorations, have someone hold the ladder so that falls are
- Turn off all lights and other Christmas décor before leaving the
house or going to bed at night.
- Candles should have a one-foot diameter surrounding them where no other
items are located in an effort to avoid fires. They should also be extinguished
prior to leaving the room.
- Space heaters should be placed a minimum of three feet from anything that
is able to catch fire, such as upholstery, curtains, Christmas trees,
and other holiday decorations.
Jones & Swanson wishes you and your loved ones a safe
and happy holiday season.